The Globe and Mail reports, “The Prosperity mine controversy is set to heat up again (today), when a federal agency is scheduled to announce whether an environmental assessment is required for the project. That decision could mark the beginning of a new stage for what proponent Taseko Mines has called New Prosperity: a reworked, more expensive mine plan that aims to address environmental issues that derailed the project last year. Ottawa nixed a previous Prosperity mine proposal last November, after a federal review panel determined the mine – as then designed – would result in ‘significant adverse environmental effects’.”
“Up until now, the CEAA has never considered a proposal that has been turned down by a federal review panel, then modified and resubmitted. CEAA accepted Taseko’s revised project description in August, triggering a 90-day timeline until the next step.”
“Taseko has said it expects CEAA to launch a comprehensive study, one of four types of assessments the agency conducts.”
Just prior to the CEAA decision, British Columbia Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson signed an Occupant License which permits Taseko Mines Limited to proceed immediately with sixty proposed drill holes, test pits, and 24-kilometres of road construction for the Prosperity Mine near Teztan Biny/ Fish Lake. In response to Thomson’s decision, the Tsilhqot’in National Government stated, “British Columbia recently issued approvals that authorize the proponent to extensively drill, build roads and clear trees throughout this area of such critical importance to our people. The Tsilhqot’in Nation considers the approvals issued by British Columbia unlawful because of the Province’s failure to meaningfully consult or accommodate our Nation or to justify the impacts on our proven Aboriginal rights to hunt and trap throughout those lands. …The Tsilhqot’in Nation stands united in its sacred commitment to our ancestors and to our future generations – we will honour and we will protect the lands that give us life.”
The Council of Canadians continue to stand in solidarity with the Tsilhqot’in Nation which includes the Xeni Gwet’in, Tl’esqoxt’in, Yunesit’in, Tl’etinqox, Tsi Del Del, and Ulkatcho communities.
For more on the campaign to defend Fish Lake/ Teztan Biny, please go to http://canadians.org/schedule2.